Inner-City Adults' Knowledge About the Effects of Cigarette Smoking on Child Health

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We sought to determine what adults in an inner-city setting know about the specific effects of adult cigarette smoking on child health. A cross-sectional survey was conducted at an inner-city community health center in the Bronx, New York; 684 subjects participated. Overall, 21% were current smokers, 19% had quit, and 60% had never smoked. While the majority of subjects knew about the effects of smoking on adult health, they were unaware of the extent to which smoking was harmful to child health. Notably, 72% did not know that cigarette smoking increased the risk for ear infections in children, 68% did not know that smoking increased the risk of colds in children, and 61% did not know that smoking increased the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. The findings suggest a need for public health education about the effects of adult smoking on child health.

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